Today on the eve of Gandhi Jayanti, Lal Bahadur Shastri’s birthday and my mother’s birthday, I want to talk about a term which has shaped me up to be a better person. A term which is selfless yet powerful, a concept which we have slowly imbibed from our parents, a character trait which was an important pillar behind the story “Piku”, a term which becomes the core of every large organization that lasts. It is called “service.”
What is “service”?
Service is the most important thing. When you get into that mode of service and you are willing “to serve” and ultimately remembering you are serving the “almighty” then you can never go wrong. We all are sitting in this particular “pandemic” wherever you are across the world and life is actually achieved when we start achieving the important things. So, the one thing which you can do right now is to work on yourself. Simple rule called the 1% rule which says that if you can be 1% better today than yesterday then your entire life has to change. Just “1%” that’s how small this is.
I am not being philosophical here because every successful person speaks the same language. Be it entrepreneurs, startup founders, motivational speakers, philosophers, writers, authors, sportspersons and economists. Gandhiji may not have said this or may have we will never know, but his ideologies were in sync with it. We must be able to judge what we were achieving yesterday and work on being better by 1% today. If we can be better 1% each day, cumulatively we can improve ourselves 37 times in a period of a month. Such is the power of improving just 1% each day.
Well, 1% may be a minute number but we must be better by 1% mentally, physically, communication and every other skill level we have gathered with time. We are blessed in a way because the world will be going through many upheavals and challenges right now. In economics we have two terms, a depression and a recession. As you know depression is 10 times worse. I might be repeating these words over and over again but we are definitely going through a depression which will affect everyone of us directly or indirectly. The question I ask do you have a solution which secures for any such future challenges?
It always seems impossible untill it’s done!!Nelson Mandela
If I further talk about service, it is the true concept of helping each other. Mahatma Gandhi as a cultural icon belonged to the world. He was someone who didn’t see the division of humans. He considered the human race as one. He fought for independence (I am not saying he was the only one) just as we are fighting each day to stay alive, to conserve what we have and minutely crawling towards reach our goals/dreams each day. He did it both in South Africa and in India. I came across an Italian Ad about “Gandhi and its message.” Gandhiji always spoke about his message where his life was his message. But this Ad was done by Italians for Italians. Imagine the impact he had across the planet.
I would like to explain the Ad before you watch it. In essence the advertisement says because when Gandhi lived, the communication equipment across the world was extremely meagre, almost non-existent. A classic example is that there were hardly any telephones, telegraphs, newspapers, no television, no cellphones. But when he died 1 million people came for his funeral. Believe me 1 million people came by bullock cart, by train, by walk, by form they came to give their respect and reverence for this man. Such was his impact. The beauty of the advertisement is projecting Gandhiji as he lived in today’s times. And in these times, with the technology available his message to the world is far.. far.. far.. more resounding and far far far more powerful.
- His life was his message
- Speak the truth. Truth is god.
But in our general walk of life we tend to ignore it that more than anything else. Since I have experienced it so I can say, that when we speak the truth we do not have to remember a single word we say. If I speak the truth it will sound the same today, 10 days from now and even 10 years. The words may be different but the message will always be the same. Do you agree with me?
Truth is the single most powerful weapon we have, but are truthful to ourselves everyday?
Nothing is an accident and everything happens for a reason. So, you always have an opportunity when something happens, to improve yourself. Whatever we do for another will always come back to us. Be it from the perspective of business or be it from the perspective of social service, we should focus on our customers’ success, upliftment, empowerment and our success is definitely going to follow. No one makes it to the top alone. There is always a team behind every man or women who is alive on this planet. They might look alone but there are numerous people’s sacrifice involved on the background. People who have reached pinnacle of success by themselves, do sit back an take a look. You will definitely find a team behind them or in front of them.
Really? Team in front of them? How?
If the team is in front of them they had to overcome that to become successful. Whether it is team’s that are opposing you or by your side, it is teams that is made for great leaders and icons like Mahatma Gandhi. Bt yeah… it is always better to have the team with you than against you.
It’s an astonishing fact that the human body isn’t structured to see behind. When someone is always watching your back all the time, that you have the ability to take a break, you have the ability to plan ahead, you have the ability to create strategy. This is why having a team or building a team is so important. But how can we build a team be it an organization, a sports team, a team fighting for a cause etc. we can build a team only by “service”. Great teams are built by working with them. By pushing, by pulling and by engaging. You have to guide them, you have to guard them, uplift them; all of this is what I learnt from my parents, elders, sports captains and world leaders.
People achieve incredible things. We have within us the potential to be great and we all do. Sometimes it’s a secret to us as well. While becoming a great leader it’s our job to bring it out. We all aspire to be great leaders, be it in our jobs, businesses, playing field, but have we become “parents” yet? Three things required for that-
Silver lining to the current pandemic, is that we will definitely overcome it similar to every challenge we face in our lives. But the question still lies- Are you prepared for the challenge that is coming? In order to find the solution, we need to serve others and work with others.
We have soldiers on the border, doctors in hospitals, traffic police on the road etc. all wearing uniform on duty and serving people in different roles. It gives an amazing feeling to wear that uniform and definitely a respectable job. But serving without a uniform is truly “service” to me (without any less respect to all the jobs and duties). In our homes, we have our mom and dad who serve us day in day out when we are down, we are sick, we are happy or we are celebrating. I know people who help blind people cross the road every day, help illiterate people fill up bank cheques, a Zomato delivery guy educating and feeding 20 girl children on a train platform every day; that is service. We all wear the uniform to serve people in different ways; a sportsman serves people by entertaining with the feeling to fight and “never say die attitude” but true service comes from what you do when you are not wearing the uniform. Important values we need to follow are –
- Treat women or rather people equally.
- Speak the truth.
- Do the right thing with the right intent when nobody is watching you.
I heard a story from on YouTube about a owner of a big firm and her day was very tiresome- back to back board meetings and client meetings. To the extent that when she reached home her legs started paining a lot and she wasn’t able to sleep. At around 1 A.M. at the middle of the night her house help, at least 25 years elder to her came and started massaging her legs. She was taken aback by the gesture and said, “You don’t need to this! I am much younger than you to allow you touch my feet” (Indian traditions…. right??) Do you know what she replied? She said, “I may not be able to serve millions of people in my life like you are, through your work… But by serving you, keeping you in good health and helping you sleep today, I am serving them as well.”
This made my day and I grew up spiritually. Because serving is not easy, it takes a lot. You can’t serve when you want to serve but only can when you need to serve.
I know, reading about this topic, for some, would be just a motivational speech and they might say: this can’t be done overnight. I agree with them as well. But are you truly serving yourself or rather you want to serve others? Serving isn’t charity it is much deeper. It’s a smile on the child’s face when you feed him to kill his hunger. It’s tears of joy of truly helping someone out when they are in need.
Do let me know what do you understand by the word “service” and this time let’s share some stories of service we have done.